Yesterday it snowed here in Washington, DC with a high temperature of twenty-six. Today will be sunny with a high of only eighteen and snow all over the ground. Best to stay warm in my home office venturing out only to buy the ingredients for a hardy stew.
But forty-one years ago, on January 22, 1973, in its misbegotten Roe v. Wade decision, the U. S. Supreme Court unleashed a moral plague that has since then claimed the lives of fifty-five million (that’s 55,000,000) unborn Americans. So I’m freezing on the National Mall with hundreds of thousands of men and women, children and youth at the annual March for Life.
The marches in Washington and other cities are perhaps more important than ever as a counter to pro-abortion forces that are increasingly marked with hostile, extreme, and irrational fanaticism.
Consider New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s unguarded comment last Sunday that right-to-lifers are, along with others, “the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” And while he has been backpedaling furiously ever since, one of his legislative priorities is the “Women’s Equity Act” which would expand the right to abortion on demand in a state that already has the most lax abortion laws in the country. In fact, one out of every ten abortions in the United States is performed in New York.
In an interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic Archbishop of New York, noted that if the Women’s Equity Act was to become law, “people who do not have proper training will now be able to do abortions. You’re talking about these abortuaries — the abortion clinics — not being subject to appropriate examination, to make sure that they’re at least clean and sanitary. You’re talking about removal of alternatives—freedom—given to the woman to have the kind of support, encouragement, and education necessary, perhaps, to make the life-affirming choice.”
Dolan went on to say, “So this is not about women’s health, this is not about freedom—it’s anything but.” What it is about is escalating pro-abortion, anti-child, anti-human (which includes anti-woman) fanaticism.
Down the Hudson River, according to LifeSiteNews, the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blassio, promised abortion providers that he would help them grow their businesses while doing battle against pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. New York City has been called “the abortion capitol of the world” where 41% of pregnancies ending in the death of the unborn child. Only a fanatic couldwant more?
This fanaticism is evident in an observation by George Mason University law professor Helen Alvaré. Writing at Public Discourse, she notes, “And even the most strenuous supporters of legal abortion—even a leader of the huge abortion provider Planned Parenthood—acknowledge that there is a baby growing inside a pregnant woman, such that abortion ends a life.”
Alvaré, a pro-life champion, goes on, “Having been a participant in the abortion debate for decades, I want to highlight how disturbing it is when supporters of legal abortion admit that abortion destroys a human life but continue to demand legal abortion and abortion funding.”
That mindset is hostile, extreme, and irrational fanaticism.
As Cardinal Dolan told Kathryn Lopez, “When reason takes over, nobody prefers abortion. We see it as a tragedy to be avoided. But unfortunately reason has been deluded here, because of the power of the abortion culture. And yes, what we have now, sadly, is that sometimes abortion is preferred, and sometimes abortion is even—in the twisted culture that we’ve got—thought to be virtuous. Sometimes abortion is thought to be the right choice.”
But as Mother Teresa of Calcutta observed, “If abortion isn’t wrong, then nothing is wrong.” And once people believe that nothing is wrong, that morality is a construct we make up and are free to change at will, it’s not just the unborn who are in danger.
So while the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, the National Mall will be mobbed. Cardinal Dolan observed that The March for Life “gets bigger and bigger every year, and the crowd gets younger and younger every year—more articulate, more passionate—saying we must reclaim our American birthright. We must reclaim the idea that everybody has equal protection under the law, even the baby in the womb. This is something exciting. This is something exhilarating. This is something inspirational that we see going on.”
And that will warm our hearts even if we have cold feet.